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Summer Safety: 5 Tips to Preventing Heat-Related Injuries in Your Fitness Routine

Essential Tips for a Healthy and Cool Outdoor Workout Routine

With summer in full swing, many individuals take advantage of the warm weather to engage in outdoor fitness activities. However, it is essential to prioritize safety during these workouts, especially when it comes to preventing heat-related injuries. In this article, we will outline our best tips to help you navigate outdoor activities in the heat.

#1 Hydration is key

We all know that staying hydrated is crucial for workouts, whether indoors or outdoors. But with the rising temperatures, it's even more vital to ensure you drink enough throughout your entire workout. Here's some information to help you make sure you're getting enough hydration:

  • Drinking an adequate amount of water before, during, and after your workout is crucial.
  • Aim to consume at least eight ounces of water before exercising and continue to hydrate throughout your session.
  • If you're engaging in prolonged or intense physical activity, consider sports drinks that contain electrolytes to replenish lost fluids and minerals.

#2 Choose the Right Time and Place

Selecting the optimal workout times during the summer heat significantly enhances your outdoor exercise experience and minimizes the chances of heat-related injuries. Discover the prime moments for exercising outdoors:

  • Avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, opt for early morning or late evening workouts when temperatures are cooler.
  • Seek shaded areas, parks with trees, or trails with plenty of cover to shield yourself from direct sunlight and extreme heat.
  • If possible, exercise near bodies of water or use cooling fans to help regulate your body temperature.
  • Consider increasing your indoor workouts during the hottest parts of the day.

#3 Dress Appropriately

When it comes to beating the summer heat during workouts, dressing appropriately is essential for your comfort. Take a look at these options that are likely already in your closet:

  • Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing made from moisture-wicking materials that allow sweat to evaporate quickly.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sun's rays and avoid dark colors that absorb heat.
  • Don't forget to protect your head and eyes by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours, especially if you're sweating excessively.

#4 Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body during summer workouts and recognize the signs of overheating to ensure your safety and well-being. Here are some ways to evaluate how you are feeling:

  • Pay attention to warning signs indicating overheating or dehydration, such as dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, or weakness. If you experience any symptoms of heatstroke, such as confusion, high body temperature, or loss of consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Take regular breaks and find shade to cool down when necessary. Post-workout is as crucial as your workout.
  • Prioritizing stretching becomes even more vital, as it helps to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and prevent heat-related strains during your outdoor workouts.

#5 Modify Your Workout

There is no shame in the modified workout game, especially when your chosen movement is outside in heat and humidity. As we are sure you know, as you get overheated, the form and execution of your workout tend to diminish, opening you up to an added risk of injury. To keep your workout effective and safe, here are a few tips for modifying:

  • Adjust the intensity and duration of your exercise routine based on the heat and humidity levels.
  • Consider low-impact activities that put less stress on your body, such as swimming or biking, instead of high-intensity workouts like running or weightlifting.
  • Incorporate rest days into your fitness schedule to allow your body to recover from the heat.

From staying hydrated to choosing the right time and place, dressing appropriately, listening to your body, and modifying your workouts, these tips will help you make the most of your outdoor exercise while reducing heat-related injuries.

Keep it chill, continue moving, and savor the summer responsibly!

This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you are seeking specific orthopedic advice or assistance, please consult with your OrthoCarolina physician or locate one in your area through OrthoCarolina’s website at

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